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Full text of "Akbar, The Emperor Of India"

26                        AKBAR, EMPEROR OF INDIA.
sources of the Ganges.29 That a man of such a wonderful
degree of versatility should have recognized the value of
general education and have devoted himself to its improve-
ment, we would simply take for granted. Akbar caused
schools to be erected throughout his whole kingdom for
the children of Hindus and Mohammedans, whereas he
himself did not know how to read or write.30 This re-
markable fact would seem incredible to us after considering*
all the above mentioned facts if it was not confirmed by the
express testimony of his son, the Emperor Jehangir. At
any rate for an illiterate man Akbar certainly accomplished
an astonishing amount. The universal character of the
endowments of this man could not have been increased by
the learning of the schools.
I have now come to the point which arouses most
strongly the universal human interest in Akbar, namely,
to his religious development and his relation to the reli-
gions, or better to religion. But first I must protest against
the position maintained by a competent scholar31 that Akbar
himself was just as indifferent to religious matters as was
the house of Timur as a whole. Against this view we have
the testimony of the conscientiousness with which he daily
performed his morning and evening devotions, the value
which he placed upon fasting and prayer as a means of
self-discipline, and the regularity with which he made
yearly pilgrimages to the graves of Mohammedan saints.
A better insight into Akbar's heart than these regular ob-
servances of worship which might easily be explained by
the force of custom is given by the extraordinary manifesta-
tions of a devout disposition. When we learn that Akbar in-
variably prayed at the grave of his father in Delhi32 before
"J. T. Wheeler, IV, I, 174.
80 J. T* Wheeler, loc. cit., 141; Noer, I, 193; II, 324, 326.
81 A. Muller, II, 418.
22 Noer, I, 262.